05 October 2012

US Expert on Lead Paint Abatement for Healthier Homes Visiting PH

A toxics watchdog has announced that a specialist on lead hazard prevention and control from US is visiting the country to share information and knowledge about creating a lead-safe environment for children and people.

At the invitation of the EcoWaste Coalition, Bill Menrath from Cincinnati, Ohio will visit Manila for a string of activities involving government, industry and civil society leaders to impart his extensive research and on-the-ground experience on lead in dust and soil sampling and lead paint remediation of affected homes.

He will give a talk on lead paint abatement on October 10 in an event organized by the Philippine Association of Paint Manufacturers, and deliver the keynote lecture at the National Inception Workshop on October 12 for the EcoWaste Coalition’s Lead Paint Elimination Project in partnership with the International POPs Elimination Network and with financial assistance from the European Union.

Menrath is the current Director of the Great Lakes Regional Occupational Safety and Health Education Center, and also the Training Director of the Healthy Homes Training Center, which is part of a national network of public health and housing practitioners that promotes green building principles, as well as practical and cost-effective methods for making homes healthier.

From 1988 – 2011, he worked as senior research associate at the Department of Environmental Health of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he spent much of his time investigating and generating useful data and analyses on lead paint hazard identification and intervention.

From 1996 – 2004, he was Chairperson of the Cincinnati Area Lead Advisory Committee.

A staunch advocate of preventive action to check childhood exposure to lead-containing paint, dust and soil, Menrath has said that "from a moral standpoint, we all should be concerned about children in our community suffering unnecessarily."

"And if that's not enough, from a practical standpoint, this costs everyone money. It may cost $9,000 to abate a property, but if you think about how many children won't be poisoned, that money isn't so much," he pointed out.

Menrath added that studies by the University of Cincinnati and others indicate "lead-poisoned children commit more crimes, have problems in school and require medical care, all expenses for taxpayers."

Menrath has a master in science degree on population biology, and has completed courses in environmental and industrial hygiene at the University of Cincinnati.
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